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2002 Forester Auto 4 speed
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
02 Forester S
2.5 L non-turbo motor.

I can hear the alternator bearings going bad, so I'm considering doing a rebuild.

I can get all the rebuild parts (bearings, brushes and rectifier) for about $10.00 from a rebuild-supplier. I have my business registered with them, so I get the wholesale rates.

Has anyone rebuilt a Subaru alternator before? Any write-ups with pics?

Thanks for your help.
 

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2006 Forester Autotragic
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296 Posts
I don't have any write ups or pics, but I have rebuilt several alternators. It's very straight forward, you just have to be careful when putting the thing back together not to crush the brushes. Use a paperclip to hold them back when you are sliding the armature back into place.
 

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2002 Forester Auto 4 speed
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah ... I figured it shouldn't be too hard. Thanks for your advice.

Anyone know if the Chilton or Haynes manual has a writeup, or at least some diagrams?
 

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2002 Forester Auto 4 speed
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Discussion Starter #6
Ok ... here's an update. I did the rebuild, and it wasn't too difficult. I replaced the bearings, brushes, internal regulator, and rectifier. It's basically a new alternator now. And my total cost was about $25.00.

The instructions that I linked to above are very helpful.

The bearings were bad, and when I got it apart, I noticed the brushes were quite worn too. They were a *lot* shorter than the new brushes. The old regulator and rectifier were operating fine, but I figured I might as well replace those while I have it apart.

The only difficult part was de-soldering the old brush-holder and rectifier. But that was only difficult because I had a cheap soldering iron. I went and bought a good soldering gun ($33 at Home Depot) and the project was easy after that.

Best of luck to anyone else who decides to do this job. Let me know if you need any advice.
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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1,672 Posts
Nice job, I just replaced the bearings in a Bosch in my BMW. It was a bear to get initially split open and the bearing put up a fight with the puller the entire time, but it went eventually.

It's nice to be able to do something for a fraction of the cost to replace it.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

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2002 Forester Auto 4 speed
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your comments. If I had kept the old rectifier and regulator, my total cost would have been even lower for just brushes and bearings. I own a business, so I was able to sign up with a rebuilding supplier, and get wholesale prices.

Also ... most rebuilt alternators these days come from china, and the quality is terrible. Sometimes you have to warranty-replace several units before you get one that works properly. And the bearings are junk.

With this job, I know I've done it thoroughly and correctly, with high-quality bearings and parts.
 
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Bump for me. I heard a quiet crunching and squeaking under my hood so I opened it up while it was running and see and hear the alternator quivering and making light crunching noises. The bearings must be going bad. When I'm driving I don't want them to randomly seize up and leave me at the mercy of whatever power is left in my battery, so I am going to attempt to rebuild it. Is this feasible?

Where did you get the rebuild parts?
 

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2013 Forester 4EAT
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125 Posts
Another thing one can do to make the job of installing new bearings on the alternator shaft is to simply place a bearing on top of a regular (not CFL or LED) light bulb). The bulb will heat up and expand the metal of the bearing and it should just slide onto the alternator shaft......no press fitting required.
 
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The drive pulley on Subaru alternators is attached by a bolt instead of a press fit, which makes it a lot easier to service as well. I don't have any specific bearing presser tools, can I still do this?
 

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2013 Forester 4EAT
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The drive pulley on Subaru alternators is attached by a bolt instead of a press fit, which makes it a lot easier to service as well. I don't have any specific bearing presser tools, can I still do this?
The drive pulleys of most alternators are bolted on. Bearings are almost always press fitted onto the alternator shaft. You'll need a strap wrench or other means of holding the pulley and alternator shaft from turning so you can remove the bolt. Then you can use a puller on the bearings to remove them. The light bulb idea is just for bearing installation.
 
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Hmm. I still think I will give it a try, I'm pretty good at improvising. I think I will boil some water and dip just the pulley in there for a few minutes to warm and loosen things up a bit. If all else fails, well I will have to buy a rebuilt alternator then.
 
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It looks like these are the parts I need according to this diagram: Alternator- Illustration- OpposedForces.com




Holy cow, they aren't cheap.


1. Radial Ball Bearing B- Part No. 23721AA040 $16 from subarupartswebsite.com

5. Radial Ball Bearing A- Part No. 23721AA100 $21 from subarupartswebsite.com

Might as well replace the brush while I'm in there.

9. Brush Set- Part No. 23754AA010 $11 from subarupartswebsite.com

Total: $48 without shipping, from subarupartswebsite.com. They usually have expensive shipping so I'll see what I can do from Jackie here on the forum.

I've decided I'm going to tackle this. It doesn't look too difficult. However if I really screw something up, I'll have to use my parents' car to run over to Autozone and shell out $125 for a rebuilt OEM alternator.
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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If you have an impact wrench that will make quick work of the pulley nut and not require too much restraint on the pulley itself.

You might need to rent a bearing or three-jaw puller from AutoZone to get the bearing out.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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Oh yeah and when you get the parts in post up what kind of bearings they are. Most likely they are some bearing you can pick up at a bearing supplier for a few bucks.

That will help the next guy do it a bit cheaper.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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If you decide that you want to buy a rebuilt one, I highly recommend these guys from experience that dates back to our SVX ownership days: http://www.maniacelectricmotors.com/

Excellent customer service... at one point we had three busted alternators sitting around the house. One call to them confirmed that they would give us core credit for all three broken ones, which added up to the cost of a rebuilt unit, so we shipped them off and got a brand-new, rebuilt alternator at no out-of-pocket cost!
 
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I would go OEM on the bearings. Cheaper penny-parts-store bearings tend to fail earlier, as shown through an earlier thread on here about cheap Ebay timing belt kits. I PM'd Jackie (SubaruPartsGirl) for a quote on those three parts and I think I will be able to get them a good bit cheaper from her.

Thanks pleiad for the recommendation, I might choose to go with them if I end up just buying a rebuilt alternator.
 
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There is a bearing & supply co. here so after I order the actual OEM parts I will get the numbers off them and post here.

Edit: I will also do a DIY write-up in the Electrical section of the forum. I can't recall anyone tearing down an alternator here.
 
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